Raycroft comes to town

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:18 AM ET

Andrew Raycroft arrived in North America from Rome last night to a torrent of phone messages, e-mails and interview requests -- a taste of what's to come as the new No. 1 goalie of the Maple Leafs.

But he's looking forward to the experience, beginning with a scheduled physical today at the Air Canada Centre and tour of his new rink. There are not expected to be complications from a knee injury he suffered midway through last season.

"He's ecstatic about the trade," agent Jordan Neumann said after meeting Raycroft's plane in New York. "I don't think the extra attention in Toronto will be an issue. He's got a pretty good demeanor about that. He's from Belleville and this is a dream come true.

"It's certainly going to give some meaning to those 8,000 games the Leafs and Bruins play every year in their division."

In a year or so, former Leaf prospect Tuukka Rask could be in the B's goaltending mix. The Bruins sent Raycroft a qualifying offer last week to cover this season, but discussions on a multi-year deal with Toronto now will take place.

"(Leafs' general manager) John Ferguson and I had a brief conversation about that and it's something we'll solidify further down the road," Neumann said.

The agent lived up to half of a pre-vacation promise to Raycroft to facilitate a deal with Toronto, but couldn't fulfill the second request, to have a Leafs sweater ready when he landed yesterday.

"All they had in the sports store at the airport were Ranger and Islanders sweaters," Neumann said with a laugh.

The Bruins regretted letting the 2004 Calder Trophy winner get away, but Raycroft had fallen to third on the depth chart behind Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen.

"The blame probably lies somewhere in the middle," Bruins' interim GM Jeff Gorton said at the draft on Saturday. "It just didn't work out. The year didn't go the way he wanted or we wanted. I think it got to Andrew to be quite honest. I think the trade of Joe Thornton got to him, I think a lot of things got to him."


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